I’m a Jew of German descent — if you don’t believe me, just ask my surname — whose family tree would have many more branches if it hadn’t been pruned by the Nazis. Many German Jews sought refuge in the United States as the Nazis came to power, but were denied for exactly the same reasons bandied about Syrians today — they’re likely spies, they’re not really white, they can’t be trusted, etc.
That’s why Anne Frank lived in an attic and died in the camps. (Let’s not even mention the Japanese-Americans. Let’s leave that to George Takei.)
Some have argued that it’s different now — that radical Muslims are unimaginably more horrible beasts than Nazis — but if you believe that, you’re a Nazi who believes that even the most mass-murderous of mass-murdering fucks to ever walk the Earth are somehow morally superior to the current crop of Islamic extremists.
Because I’ve seen that argument made tonight — “We should have let Anne Frank in, because white German spies would’ve just behaved like spies, whereas these brown Muslims are terrorists through and through” — and I’ve witnessed it repeatedly, mouthed by people who don’t realize that they’re extolling the moral superiority of Nazis.
That bears repeating: They’re extolling the moral superiority of Nazis.
So here’s where we stand — if you believe that we shouldn’t allow Syrian refugees fleeing from ISIS into the country because you believe ISIS when it says it’s embedded terrorists in the refugee communities, you and I are done.
Because even if ISIS isn’t lying — which it is, but whatever — you’re doing moral calculus in crayon on the walls outside your racist parents’ bedroom, and it’s unbecoming of a civilized adult society. If the price of humanitarianism is that a few rotten apples spoil a barrel, it doesn’t matter because American democracy is a fucking cargo ship and the other 100,000 barrels matter too.